How Much Does Hospice Care Cost?

How Much Does Hospice Care Cost?

One of the first questions we receive from families who are in need of our services is, “How much will hospice care cost?” There is usually no direct cost to patients and their loved ones at Emmanuel Hospice, though that is not always the case for every hospice provider.


We understand that end-of-life care is difficult to talk about, which is why we are committed to making it easier for all involved. We can’t stop death, but we can help you have a plan to make the most of every moment — without straining your financial situation.


What Is the Average Cost of Hospice Care?

It is hard to place a specific dollar amount on hospice care. The cost truly depends on the provider, your location and the type of care offered by the institution you’ve chosen to provide that care. It is also important to note that not every hospice care provider is the same. Each comes with its own range of therapies, services and access to additional offerings.


Quality hospice care goes beyond what Medicare, Medicaid and private insurances will cover. At Emmanuel Hospice, we invest over $200,000 annually to make complementary therapies and services available to all of our patients.


Additionally, end-of-life care costs can change dramatically when taking into account where care is performed and whether hospital services are needed.


Who Pays for Hospice?

Often, people wonder how they’ll pay for hospice care. Hospice is a benefit that is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance carriers. There is usually no direct cost to patients and their loved ones for medications, equipment, supplies or even the team of experts specialized in comforting and caring for those with a life-limiting illness.


However, some costs may be incurred by families for hospital services or if inpatient care in a long-term care facility is necessary.

What if I Need Help Covering the Cost of Hospice?

If you are in need of hospice care but do not have insurance there may be out of pocket costs associated with some necessary services. As an organization committed to providing the highest quality of care — even when that care doesn’t come from us — Emmanuel Hospice will connect patients and families with community resources that will help. These resources are available to you free of charge.


What Can I Expect When Choosing Hospice Care From Emmanuel Hospice?

Whether this is your first time seeking care for a loved one or you’re already familiar with Emmanuel Hospice, we’re here to answer your questions and offer support.


Hospice care happens wherever your loved one calls home, whether in an assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility or a family home, our team will come to you. We’ll not only walk alongside you as a care plan is developed, we’ll help talk you through tough subjects like who pays for hospice care.

We’re available 24/7 to provide answers. Call 616.719.0919 and our compassionate team will begin walking this journey by your side.

The Role of a Hospice Spiritual Caregiver

At Emmanuel Hospice, our goal is to enhance each patient’s life with a combination of expert medical care, spiritual counseling and a variety of complementary services and therapies to engage the senses and create unique, joyful memories. One way we address the spiritual needs of our patients and their families is through a spiritual caregiver.

What Does a Hospice Spiritual Caregiver Do?

A spiritual caregiver tends to the patient’s and family’s spiritual or religious needs while in end-of-life care. Our team supports patients as they cope with illness, pain, grief and change. They also support friends and family affected by the changes or passing of their loved one.

Emmanuel Hospice spiritual caregivers use skills like compassion, empathy and a servant’s heart to address questions and concerns. And because we are an interfaith organization, this means all beliefs are celebrated.

Whether searching for meaning and purpose, love, belonging, peace, comfort or gratitude, you’ll find expert, compassionate care here.

Who Are Emmanuel Hospice’s Spiritual Caregivers?

Our organization is blessed with many spiritual caregivers focused on providing our patients with the faith-based support they need. One of our colleagues, Pastor Vern Bareman, was recently recognized by West Michigan Christian News for the role he plays.

Pastor Bareman ministers mostly in a spiritual way, embracing the special role he provides in the lives of patients and families. His approach is patient-centered, participating closely with the rest of the care team to create a meaningful plan for patients nearing their end of life. While not all are religious, Pastor Bareman recognizes that there is always something that provides meaning. His hope is that a positive reflection on life will help bring peace and comfort.

See all Emmanuel Hospice Spiritual Caregivers here.

Hospice volunteers continue to provide invaluable support during the pandemic

During the pandemic, Emmanuel Hospice has gotten creative to allow for quality volunteer engagement as the coronavirus continues to alter the way even end-of-life care is delivered.

Under normal circumstances, volunteers serve the faith-based nonprofit provider of hospice care by making bereavement calls, providing patient/family support, capturing patients’ life stories, supporting office needs and providing companionship with certified pet visitors throughout West Michigan.

But since COVID-19 arrived, only certain caregivers such as nurses and patient aides are allowed at the patient bedside in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and rehab facilities. Depending on varying visitor protocols, some facilities may also allow social workers and individuals providing spiritual care and complementary therapy services inside. In some cases, these restrictions have limited or altered volunteer tasks, but it has also presented new opportunities.

“The great thing about volunteering with Emmanuel Hospice is that we have always been flexible with matching a person’s talents, skills and interests to the many volunteer opportunities we have available,” said Volunteer Services Manager Jackie Chandler. “This difference now is that we’re also factoring in COVID-19 precautions, homing in on opportunities that can be done from a safe distance from others.”

“A number of our volunteers continue to provide invaluable support in new or slightly altered ways to our patients and their families, as well as the staff, during these challenging times.”

For example, volunteer Robin Keith helps with weekly drive-thru COVID-19 testing for staff. Robin’s role is to keep the process organized, preparing the paperwork that is submitted with the samples.

Other volunteers, like Bruce Koop and Lauren Davis, have been doing virtual visits with patients and their families via Zoom. Pat Jennings, Sue Levandoski and Erica Pillivant continue to volunteer with the bereavement team by making monthly phone calls to families to check in and see how they are coping with the loss of their loved one. Another volunteer, Marlene Downes, completes weekly mailings and other sorting tasks from home. The organization’s “Card Ladies” also continue to make cards for patients at home.

As some of the few people who can see patients in person, the Carmelite Sisters at St. Ann’s volunteer regularly, providing spiritual care and companionship.

“It feels good to have some of our volunteer base still be able to safely participate in the compassionate, person-centered hospice care we provide for patients and families,” Chandler said. “Even if serving from afar, it’s important they know how essential they are to our organization and our philosophy of care.”

Information about the volunteer program is available at

Helping Friends in Crisis

The Grand Rapids Press recently published an article about grief support. Titled “How to Help a Friend in Crisis,” the article advises friends to reach out and not overthink how they can help. A simple presence is enough.

Therapist Kelly Grocoff shared, “When big life events happen to those we love, we often feel like our efforts to support them need to be big as well. But showing up and participating in small, concrete daily activities can be a lifeline, a solid, sure reminder that they are not alone.”

If you or someone you know has experienced a loss, we are here to help. Our services are open to anyone in the community.

View the article HERE.


Serving Patients Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bryan Cramer, our Director of Business Development, was a remote guest on The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin yesterday.

He talked about the need for advance care planning, highlighted the Emmanuel Hospice holistic care difference and shared how we continue to serve patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the full story here.